Open Air Cinema 2015

Arriving at the fourth open air cinema to be held at Chislehurst, cinema goers traversed through space and across the moon to enter the venue known as the pit (next to St Nicholas primary school). Hundreds of people turned out to enjoy the screening of ‘The Dish’ and were blessed with a beautiful summers evening with no rain; peace and love to that! The Dish is an Australian film that tells the story of the Parkes Observatory's role in relaying live television of man's first steps on the moon during the Moon mission in 1969.

  2015 - cinema 2

A local community group work tirelessly to organise this event in aid of the Trustees of Chislehurst Commons, the charity that maintains our precious green spaces. They hope to have raised over £2,500 to help maintain the 180 acres of land in Chislehurst and St Paul’s Cray.

2015 - cinema - Donna and Anthony  

I spoke to Donna Bompas, the event organiser who was wearing strawberry, not pink (to quote the film), and asked what inspired her to put on the open air cinema. Donna told us how she grew up in LA and loved going to the outdoor movies, she said “it was so much fun sitting outside and watching a good movie”.

Donna is married to Anthony Bompas (a trustee of the commons) and he explained that it takes a lot of hard work to maintain this beautiful green space. The trustees hire two keepers to maintain the commons in addition to the volunteers who so generously donate their time. Therefore, Donna couldn’t think of a better way to raise funds and awareness than by hosting a fun event where the community could enjoy a movie under the stars whilst appreciating the natural beauty of the area.  We were told how volunteers had been there since early morning setting up the venue for us all to enjoy.

 2015 - cinema 3 - JDM  

As well as the movie, The Dish, there was a Beatles tribute band and arts and crafts for kids (as well as for the adults who considered themselves big kids). Rob, of Higgs the butchers was the “master of the BBQ”, feeding the hungry cinema goers. He said it was nice to see everyone coming out to enjoy the local area. Rob explained that he believes it is important as a business to give back to the local community and is proud to help at events run by local churches and schools as well as the annual cinema evening.


Cinema goers were encouraged to dress up, taking Chislehurst back in time - as hippies, mods and psychedelic rockers arrived! We even had 3 mini astronauts’ land on the commons!  As twilight descended and the band finished playing, families and friends relaxed on picnic blankets and chairs to enjoy the film.


Thank you so much to Donna, all of the volunteers, the Trustees of the Commons and to JDM estate agents, The Chislehurst Society, Visit Chislehurst and Higgs the butchers for another magical evening.

If you enjoyed the cinema why not join the fun for the Chislehurst Chase and The Big Draw being held on the commons in September.

Written by Gemma Sargeant. Photos by Andrew Mould.